Hello stranger!

My last blog post was almost three months ago—just days after the release of my last book, The Ghost and the Wedding Crasher. Since that time, I’ve been scarce on social media. But I had a good reason.

As some of you know, I had been the fulltime caregiver of my now 95-year-old mother, since 2019. She has vascular dementia. But about two years ago, just as we were preparing to move from Arizona to Oregon, I was told I needed knee replacement surgery. Because of the move, we decided to put off the surgery until we settled in our new home.

One thing I realized as my mother declined, there was no way I could go through surgery and deal with rehab while being her fulltime caregiver.  Initially my sister and daughter planned to come down and help with mom for a few weeks each, but then my sis broke her hip, and had her own surgery and rehab to deal with. Then the hospital cancelled my January surgery because of staffing issues, and they moved my surgery date to May 3.

I came to realize fate was trying to tell me something. I know my kids and the rest of my family were—it was time to find a place for Mom.

So, after I released my last book in March, I started on a mission to find a safe place for Mom. That’s pretty much what I was doing in April, and why I was rarely on social media.

We moved mom into her new home on May 1 and two days later I had my surgery. To say it was an emotional rollercoaster with Mom would be a vast understatement. But I will discuss more about that in a future blog post.

One thing I realize, I was foolish to think I could continue to care for Mom while dealing with my own recovery. While my surgery went well, and it’s been a little over seven weeks now, I am no way back to normal. Not even close. I struggle to get any quality sleep, I’m still in physical therapy, in pain, and I have been having some abnormal heart rate issues I have to address. I am in no shape to take care of my Mom.

I know some people might suggest I could hire someone to come in and help, but the fact is, we have a small two-bedroom house and two dogs which would make it both chaotic and crowded, and we couldn’t hire someone to spend the night—and when someone has dementia, they often get up in the middle of the night and require assistance.  

I haven’t done much in the last seven plus weeks except try to heal. My energy level is on empty. But, I do Facetime with my Mom every day (as does my sister.) I also visit Mom once a week, where I stay with her for about 4-5 hours at a time. She has a double bed, so during my visits, the two of us lounge on her bed, hold hands, and chat. In retrospect, this has provided us with some quality time.

My next book, The Ghost and the Twins, is slated for release the end of October. The audiobook for my last book, Ghost and the Wedding Crasher,  will also be released by Tantor Media around that same time.

While I haven’t had the energy to engage in social media, I’ve still managed to put out my Haunting Danielle newsletter, yet not as frequently as I normally do.

But I have been thinking about Walt and Danielle. One thing I have been doing during my rehab—re-reading the series. Even authors need to be reminded of the series of events in the books they write, especially when they are part of a 30 plus book series!

But before I close, I want to explain the above photo. In my last post, I shared a photo of our vegetable garden. I managed to get it planted before my surgery. It’s primarily a salad garden—since I knew I wouldn’t be able to care for it properly during my recovery.  Hubby has been watering during the dry days, and my daughter-in-law helps with the harvesting and other tasks.  

I hope to be a regular on social media again in the near future. Take care!

New Haunting Danielle Audiobooks

I’ve been working on The Ghost and the Medium, but I took some time to listen to the newest Haunting Danielle audiobook. The Ghost and the Birthday Boy (Book 28 of the series) came out on audiobook almost a week ago.

Mom listened to it first. Mom, who used to be my number one beta reader can’t really read anymore. At almost 94-years, it is difficult for her to focus with her vascular dementia. But audiobooks she can still enjoy.

Once again Romy Nordlinger did a wonderful job narrating the book. In fact, Mom made be promise to tell her what a spectacular job she did and how she brings the characters to life. I have to agree. Once again Romy did a wonderful job.

I am doubly lucky, as I also love how the narrator, Reagan West, read the Coulson Family Saga, under my Anna J. McIntyre pen name, and brought that series to life.

The next Haunting Danielle audiobook, The Ghost and the Church Lady, will be out in April.

Happy listening!

Writing Life

I’m between books. My 29th book in the Haunting Danielle series, The Ghost and the Church Lady, was released last Thursday. So far, I am thrilled with the response from my readers. I always get nervous when I put a new Haunting Danielle book out, especially since this is a large series. 

It will be a few weeks until I sit down at the computer and begin chapter one in Book 30, The Ghost and the Medium, which comes out May 19, 2022. Time between books, after I’ve released a book and haven’t started writing a new one, is my down time—time for me to tend to other chores.

During my last down time—which was longer than normal—I was busy moving from Arizona to Oregon and settling into our new home. I won’t have as much down time between books 29 and 30, but I still have a lot to do. Tomorrow I plan to finish up my taxes and get them off to our accountant. Which is always fun—not. Have you done your taxes yet?

I still have that knee replacement I need to squeeze in sometime. But, I haven’t heard back from my doctor yet, and I haven’t figured out what to do about Mom while I’m dealing with the knee.

When I do get to the actual writing part, where will I do it? Since I don’t have a home office here—like in our last home—I started Book 29 in the living room, yet eventually moved my desk into the bedroom, for more privacy. It’s hard for me to write when someone is in the room.

And now that we have a heater in the family barn, I might start The Ghost and the Medium in there. I claimed a nook, where I put my bookshelves, books, and rolltop desk (see top photo). 

The photo was taken over Christmas. As you can see, I am wrapped in a blanket. It was pretty cold in the barn back then, too cold to write. But we have since added a built-in heater, so I can actually use my corner office in the family barn without freezing.